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No Air Conditioner

My little house doesn't have air conditioning. The house I rented for several years before building my house didn't have it either. I don't want to be closed in all summer. I enjoy the sounds and warmth of the season. No air-conditioner for me.

Air conditioning is not a necessity. There are only 4 or 5 days a year that are truly uncomfortably hot here in Virginia. If you don't believe that ... well it's because you've been shut inside your air conditioned house so long that you no longer remember what summer is like.

Most nights the temperature drops into the 70s. That's a great temperature for sleeping, but my neighbors' heat-pumps and window-air-conditioners run on, wasting power and making noise. Morning comes and they scamper from chilled houses to chilled cars to chilled offices. Air-conditioning keeps them cooped up -- inactive.

My house is designed for air movement. It's only one room wide, so cross-ventilation is easy. After the roof was on the house but before the walls were completely closed in, we took lunch breaks sitting on the floor upstairs. The breeze and shade made it a great spot, even in the middle of July.

South-facing windows will get Bahama shutters for the summer. They keep out the heat but let the breeze blow through. Heat that gets into the house is allowed to move up and out. The high gable-end window upstairs has a solar-powered exhaust fan.

The porches on the east side of my house are a refuge. There are few things on earth as nice as relaxing on a screened porch on a summer evening. On really hot days I may try to sleep out there -- sleeping porches were common before air conditioning.

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